(Text of the Statement)
The National Human Rights Committee of the State of Qatar welcomes the draft legislation issued by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, on 4 September 2018, confirming the continuation of efforts to consolidate the foundations of state institutions, rule of law and human rights.
The NHRC appreciates these reform steps, namely the issuance of Decree Nos. 40 and 41 of 2018 on the accession of the State of Qatar to the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which has the power of law in accordance with article 68 of the Constitution, which represents a well-founded international legitimacy that includes all human rights based provisions in general, and a positive indicator of its position in the realization and implementation of human rights.
The NHRC also applauds the amendment of some provisions of Law No. 21 of 2015, regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their residence under Law No. 13 of 2018, guaranteeing the right of expatriates under the Labor Law No. 14 of 2004 to temporary exit or final departure without any restrictions, which promotes and protects the right to freedom of movement and travel.
The NHRC commends the qualitative leap in enshrining the right to residency in the State of Qatar, including the promulgation of Law No. 10 of 2018 on Permanent Residence, which is considered a legislative step forward that consolidates the progress in the field of human rights in the State of Qatar. This new law shall grant those who meet the conditions set out in its provisions a number of rights and privileges and treatment as citizens in a number of areas.
The NHRC also commends the issuance of Law No. 11 of 2018 regulating political asylum, which comes in fulfillment of Article 58 of the Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar guaranteeing the right to political asylum; which is considered an important precedent that puts Qatar at the forefront of the countries in the Gulf region, the Arab region and the Middle East.
The NHRC affirms that all these reform steps come in conformity with the its recommendations included in its previous annual reports, and represent a strong response and support to the NHRC in performing its functions and mandate in the promotion and protection of human rights in the State of Qatar. The NHRC looks forward to continuing and achieving further reform steps in the field of human rights in the light of what has been recommended by the Committee in its various reports and as commensurate with the position of the State of Qatar at the international and regional levels.
25 Dhul-Hijjah 1439
5 September 2018
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